Whether you work in-house or at an agency, collaboration is a fundamental part of the job. It’s what leads to greater innovation, increased efficiency, better communication. And ultimately, success.
Collaboration tools make it easier for you and your team to work together, no matter whether you work in the same office or on entirely different continents. They help you to communicate, to manage workflows, to stay aligned, and to meet deadlines.
For this guide, we’ve rounded up the 26 best team collaboration tools, each with its own unique features and use cases. Some of the platforms are designed for project management, others for communication, some for content creation, and others for managing feedback and approval.
But what links them is their ability to help you and your team collaborate effectively and achieve great things!
So without further ado…
Say hello to clearer, faster feedback
Get collaborative feedback right on top of your work with Filestage.
Top three collaboration software for all company sizes
Filestage is a collaborative feedback management platform that helps you collect feedback on content – whether that’s a design, a video, a document, or a live website – all in one place.
From sharing to sign-off, it takes the stress out of managing feedback.
You can invite as many people as you like to review your content, and reviewers can see what others have already suggested before leaving their own feedback in a way that suits them.
- Due dates keep your projects on track and help you meet deadlines
- In-context comments make for clear feedback that shows up in real time
- Visual annotations bring comments to life and make it clear what needs changing
- To-do lists give your team a clear picture of what needs amending
- Version history helps you keep tabs on previous comments and see what’s changed
- Review steps mean your files get approved by the right people at the right stage of the process
- Project dashboards help you keep track of who you’re still waiting to hear from
- Integrations with Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and more
- Automations to reduce manual tasks and speed up content reviews
- No mobile or desktop app
Best for businesses that require efficient and streamlined feedback and approval process
Filestage is an optimal online collaboration tool for companies that produce large volumes of multimedia content, like marketing, advertising, media, and entertainment.
It is also great for remote or distributed teams that need a central platform for managing the review and approval process.
Asana gives project managers a simple way to manage team projects, processes, and tasks. It fosters collaboration by helping your team stay productive and deliver work in a better, faster way.
This team collaboration software has the potential to help you reduce the amount of time you spend switching between meetings, emails, chats, and spreadsheets.
- It’s easy to share tasks, deadlines, notes, and projects
- The notes are visible, and they can expedite tasks
- The UI and UX are fantastic
- The pricing structure can be very complex
- The notifications can be intrusive and distracting
- Certain functionalities are complex, so users will need training to employ them
Best for teams of all sizes looking to reduce complexity
Teams of all sizes that want to move faster, reduce complexity, and make a bigger impact, in terms of results. (Wondering whether Asana really is the tool for you? Read our posts about using Trello or Asana.)
3. Google Docs
Google Docs is a web-based word processing and document collaboration software developed by Google. It allows users to create, edit, and collaborate on documents in real-time with others from anywhere in the world.
Its collaborative features allow users to share documents among team members while setting permissions for editing or commenting. Plus, the commenting feature allows users to leave feedback or ask questions, and utilize the version history to track changes and revisions.
- It allows multiple users to edit and collaborate on a document in real time.
- It’s available for free with a Google account.
- The tool automatically saves changes as you type, eliminating the need to manually save.
- It keeps track of all changes and revisions, making it easy to revert to a previous version if needed.
- It has limited formatting options compared to some desktop word processors.
- Some features and formatting can’t be translated seamlessly when exporting to other file types.
- As a cloud-based service, there may be concerns around the security and privacy of sensitive documents.
- There are limited functionalities and features available in offline editing
Best for startups with limited budgets
It can be particularly useful for small businesses and startups that may not have the resources to invest in expensive software licenses. Additionally, Google Docs is an ideal option for remote teams that need to work on documents in real-time from different locations.
Project management tools are equally important to bigger teams with significant budgets and the smaller ones with less money to spend. Great project management tools help companies streamline their efforts and manage their projects more efficiently.
So let’s take a look at five best project collaboration tools!
Trello is a highly customizable project management and collaboration tool for task management that can help project managers to foster deeper collaboration in a team. This collaboration tool’s intuitive system of cards, lists, and boards is very simple to use, but there’s also a lot of complexity beneath the surface.
This tool offers a wide range of integrations. And due to its simplicity, it can become a project hub that fosters collaboration.
- It’s very easy to get started.
- You can view the progress of key tasks at a glance.
- It offers a way to manage tasks that’s visually satisfying.
- If you use a lot of boards, it can get overwhelming.
- It doesn’t regularly add new features.
- Some of its basic functionalities can only be achieved through integrations.
Best for marketing teams looking for a simple task management solution
Teams of all sizes that need a simple, scalable solution for task management that won’t break the bank.
Bit is a collaborative project management software that helps teams work together in real time and store all project assets in one place for easy and fast access. Teams can add content from over 70+ various applications that will live inside of Bit documents.
Project managers can use Bit for:
- Interactive project spec documentation
- Product strategy
- Internal guides
- Customer-facing guides
- Product requirement documents
- User journeys
- Competitive analysis
- Robust smart search to find anything quickly
- Content and knowledge management
- Simple and modern UI
- Document Tracking
- No mobile app
- Absence of Gantt charts
- Untimely notifications can be a bit distracting
Best for SMBs looking for cost-effective solutions
Bit is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that require a centralized platform for managing their content and collaborating with team members.
It is particularly useful for teams that require flexibility and agility in their workflows, such as marketing, project management, and content creation teams.
Basecamp consolidates all of the tools that teams need to finish their work, including message boards, scheduling functionality, to-do lists, group chat, file storage, and more.
This collaboration software fosters teamwork and efficiency by putting all of these disparate features under one roof.
This goal prevents tasks from slipping through the cracks, and it keeps team members from getting confused.
- It has competitive pricing, given its functionality.
- It’s user friendly for admins and project managers.
- It’s easy to see which files are associated with which projects.
- The export feature suffers from a range of problems.
- The UX can be confusing for non-administrators.
- Basecamp requires a big commitment from every project member.
Best for SMBs looking for an affordable solution
Basecamp is best for SMBs that require a centralized platform for managing their projects and collaborating with team members.
It’s particularly useful for teams that require a straightforward and user-friendly project management tool, such as creative agencies, software development teams, and consulting firms.
Monday.com is a simple collaboration software that helps managers and team members sync, plan, organize, and track tasks over the course of a project.
These features have a very pleasant UI, which means that teams find it easier to collaborate. So they’ll be able to easily understand the assignees and responsibilities for each task.
- Thanks to its clean UI, it offers clear visibility into projects.
- Its simple drag-and-drop functionality gets everyone involved.
- It offers various calendar views that suit the needs of all users.
- Some of its features are superfluous and distracting.
- It can be difficult to predictably calculate the pricing.
Best for businesses of all sizes that need a comprehensive project management platform
Monday.com’s customizable features and integrations make it a good fit for businesses that require tailored solutions for their workflows, such as HR, finance, and sales teams.
Proofhub gives users a range of features, which help them bolster collaboration among their team. These features include group chats, discussions, workflows, project reports, and more.
These features help teams collaborate and communicate in easy, flexible ways across a wide range of devices.
- It’s very easy to use.
- The cost is reasonable, compared to its competition.
- It offers a suite of practical features.
- It could be too simple for larger projects.
- Its Gantt charts can be difficult to create and use.
- Its documentation isn’t very helpful to new users.
Best for freelancers and SMBs looking for an affordable solution
ProofHub is best for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and freelancers who require an affordable and easy-to-use platform for managing their projects and collaborating with team members.
It is particularly useful for creative teams, marketing teams, and remote teams that require an all-in-one solution for managing their projects and workflows.
Having an adequate customer support tool can be a true life saver. With the right tool you don’t have to worry about any complaints or comments getting overlooked, and all your customers can stay satisfied with your communication.
Here are some tools that will help you build great customer relationships!
Slack is a popular communication and collaboration software that enables teams to communicate and work together more effectively. It’s a centralized platform where team members can send messages, share files, collaborate on documents, and manage projects.
One of the key features, making Slack such an amazing tool for customer support is its ability to organize communication into channels. Thanks to this feature, customer support teams can organize their work more efficiently, and make sure all customer inquiries are addressed quickly.
- Real-time communication helps you get quick responses to customer queries and issues.
- Its centralized platform streamlines customer interactions and helps you make sure there are no missed conversations.
- Seamless collaboration with other departments improves efficiency.
- It’s customizable and offers a range of integrations with other applications for more personalized and relevant support.
- It helps you improve transparency and accountability by keeping records and easily referencing previous conversations.
- Slack can be distracting with messages coming from various channels.
- You have limited control over customer data privacy and security, especially when using third-party integrations.
- It’s difficult to prioritize and manage a high volume of customer inquiries and requests.
Best for remote teams working in the tech sector
Slack is ideal for companies of all sizes, particularly those with remote teams or multiple departments that require effective communication.
It is particularly suitable for companies in the technology, media, and marketing industries, where real-time communication and efficient collaboration are crucial for success.
Jira is a widely used project management and issue tracking software developed by Atlassian. It offers a range of features that help teams organize, track, and manage tasks and projects efficiently.
The tool can be used for customer support by creating a dedicated project to track and manage customer inquiries, issues, and requests. Teams can use Jira’s customizable issue types and fields to create specific workflows and processes that fit their support needs.
- The tool provides a centralized platform for tracking and managing customer inquiries and requests, enabling teams to respond promptly and efficiently.
- Its customizable workflows allow teams to create processes that fit their specific support needs, ensuring that customer inquiries are handled appropriately.
- Thanks to the collaboration features teams can work together to resolve customer issues, improving the speed and quality of support.
- You’ll have insights into customer support performance through reporting and analytics, enabling teams to identify trends and areas for improvement.
- You can integrate it with other tools and applications, such as CRM systems, social media, and email, providing a seamless customer support experience.
- The tool can be complex and require significant training for new users.
- Jira can be expensive, especially for small businesses with limited budgets.
- Customizing the platform requires technical expertise and additional time.
- The range of features can be overwhelming for small teams with simple support needs.
- Their customer support may not be sufficient for businesses with complex support needs.
Best for large companies with complex support needs
The tool can be a great fit for companies of all sizes that require a comprehensive and customizable solution for managing and tracking customer inquiries and issues.
It is particularly well-suited for larger companies with a greater volume of support tickets, complex workflows, and require advanced reporting and analytics.
Slab is a knowledge management collaboration tool that allows teams to create, organize, and share internal documentation. It provides a centralized platform for storing information that makes easily accessible knowledge for all team members.
When it comes to customer support, teams can use this tool to create a knowledge base with articles and resources that help customers find solutions to common issues. Teams can organize information by topics and categories, making it easy for customers to search for and find relevant information.
Plus, its search functionality makes it simple for support agents to quickly find articles and share them with customers.
- The tool provides a centralized platform for organizing and sharing information, making it easy for customers to find solutions to their issues.
- Teams can create and customize articles to fit the needs of their customers, ensuring that information is relevant and helpful.
- Its collaboration features enable teams to work together to create and update articles, improving the accuracy and quality of information.
- Teams are provided with insights into how customers are using the knowledge base, enabling them to identify trends and areas for improvement.
- You can integrate your account with other tools and applications, such as CRM systems and support tickets, providing a seamless customer support experience.
- The tool primarily focuses on knowledge management and may not offer as many support channels as other customer support software.
- Its customization options are limited compared to other knowledge management software.
- Slab may require some time to learn how to use effectively, especially for teams new to knowledge management software.
- It offers limited automation capabilities, which may make some support processes less efficient.
- The pricing may be a bit expensive for smaller businesses, especially those with limited budgets.
Best for mid-sized and large companies with complex customer support needs
The tool is particularly useful for companies with a large volume of customer inquiries and a need for a searchable knowledge base. While it can be used by companies of all sizes, its pricing may be more suitable for mid-sized and larger businesses.
Smaller businesses with simple support needs may find Slab’s feature set to be more than they require.
12. Help Scout
Help Scout is a customer support software with a variety of features to help teams manage and respond to customer inquiries. The software includes a shared inbox for managing customer conversations, a knowledge base for storing information and articles, and reporting tools for monitoring team performance.
To best use this tool for customer support, teams can use the shared inbox and manage customer inquiries while making sure that responses are timely and consistent.
- Help Scout provides a shared inbox, allowing teams to manage customer inquiries and collaborate on responses.
- The tool offers automation tools to streamline support processes and reduce response times.
- It consists of reporting tools that help teams track key metrics and identify areas for improvement.
- You can integrate it with a variety of other tools, such as CRM systems and chatbots, to provide a seamless customer support experience.
- The tool’s knowledge base enables teams to provide customers with helpful information and reduce repetitive responses.
- It has limited customization options compared to other customer support software.
- The pricing may be higher than some smaller businesses can afford, especially those with limited budgets.
- It doesn’t offer as many features as other customer support software, making it less suitable for more complex support needs.
Best for smaller companies with less complex customer support needs
Help Scout is best suited for small and mid-sized companies that prioritize personalized, email-based customer support.
It is a good fit for companies that want straightforward support software with a focus on shared inbox management, rather than more complex and customizable software.
Today’s companies are forced to create more and more visual content to keep up with their competitors. In many cases this means that marketing teams are joining graphic designers to create the best possible visual presence for their brand.
Here are some of the best online collaboration tools you should consider implementing in your team to create a more effective graphic design process.
InVision is a digital product design platform that enables teams to create and collaborate on designs for websites, mobile applications, and other digital products.
It provides a range of tools to help design teams work more efficiently, including real-time collaboration, commenting and feedback features, and prototyping tools.
To best use InVision for graphic design, teams can use its vector editing and shape tools to create detailed designs. Plus, its advanced prototyping tools to simulate how the design will look and feel in use.
- The tool allows multiple team members to collaborate on designs in real-time, making it easy to share feedback and make changes quickly.
- Its advanced prototyping tools allow designers to create interactive prototypes of their designs, helping them to visualize how the design will look and feel in use.
- It integrates with other popular design tools, such as Sketch and Adobe Creative Cloud, making it easy to import and export designs.
- It offers version control, enabling designers to track changes to their designs over time and roll back to previous versions if needed.
- The platform helps streamline the design process, allowing designers to move from ideation to prototyping to production more efficiently.
- This isn’t a full-fledged design tool and is limited in design capabilities compared to software like Sketch or Adobe Creative Cloud.
- The tool requires some time to learn how to use effectively, especially for teams new to the software.
- Its customization options are limited compared to other design tools.
- It’s costly for small design teams or freelancers.
- It’s primarily focused on digital product design, so it may not be the best choice for designers working on print projects.
Best for digital product design teams that need to streamline their workflow
InVision is an excellent platform for graphic design teams of all sizes who work on digital products such as mobile applications, websites, and software.
It is particularly useful for digital design teams who prioritize collaboration and real-time feedback, as InVision’s advanced collaboration features make it easy to work together and share designs.
Miro is an online collaboration tool that helps remote teams to work together on a variety of projects, including graphic design. Miro’s platform provides a range of tools for graphic designers, including vector editing, drawing tools, and sticky notes to help ideate and iterate on designs.
Additionally, Miro’s platform makes it easy to collaborate with other team members and clients, due to real time feedback and iterations. Design teams can also use Miro to create and share mood boards and wireframes to help bring their designs to life.
- The platform allows design teams real-time collaboration and feedback for more efficient collaboration.
- It’s a flexible platform that can be adapted to a range of design workflows, making it suitable for teams of all sizes.
- It provides a range of tools for graphic designers, including vector editing, drawing tools, and sticky notes, enabling teams to effectively ideate and iterate on designs.
- It can integrate with other design tools like Sketch and Figma, allowing teams to streamline their workflow.
- While it provides a range of tools for graphic design, it is not as feature-rich as some dedicated graphic design software.
- It can be complex, and new users may need time to learn how to use it effectively.
- It has limited export options, and users may need to use other tools to convert their designs into different file formats.
- While it offers a free plan, some of its more advanced features require a paid subscription, which can be expensive for all design teams.
- It doesn’t offer extensive version control features, leaving teams to implement their own processes for version control and collaboration.
Best for remote teams of all sizes
The tool is particularly useful for remote teams, as it provides a collaborative platform for design teams to work together in real-time. Miro is also a versatile platform that can be adapted to a range of design workflows, making it suitable for teams of all sizes.
Lucidchart is a cloud-based diagramming software that allows users to create professional-grade visualizations, including graphic designs. It provides a range of design tools and features, including a drag-and-drop interface, templates, and custom shapes.
Users can start by choosing a template or creating a custom canvas, and then adding design elements like icons, images, and text. The tool also enables real-time collaboration, so designers can work together to create and iterate on designs, as well as share their designs with stakeholders for feedback and approval.
- Wide range of design tools and features
- Intuitive drag-and-drop interface
- Cloud-based software accessible from anywhere
- Real-time collaboration with team members and stakeholders
- Ability to create and share professional-grade visualizations and designs
- Limited customization options for shapes and objects
- No built-in image editing tools
- Not as robust as traditional graphic design software
- Can be slow to load and process large designs
- Limited export options for high-resolution graphics.
Best for businesses that require simple and effective design solutions
Lucidchart is best for companies that need to create professional-grade visualizations and diagrams, as well as simple graphic designs. It is particularly useful for remote teams that need a collaborative platform to work together on design projects.
It doesn’t have the same level of customization and advanced features as traditional graphic design software. But it’s a versatile and user-friendly tool that can be used by designers and non-designers alike to create a variety of designs.
FigJam is a collaborative digital whiteboarding platform developed by Figma. It’s designed to help teams brainstorm, plan, and organize their ideas visually in real-time.
The tool offers a range of features to help teams work together seamlessly, including sticky notes, drawing tools, shape libraries, and the ability to import images and files.
Teams can use this tool for various purposes, such as wireframing, mind mapping, or user journey mapping.
- It facilitates real time collaboration and remote work
- Offers a range of tools and features to support the design process
- Provides a flexible and adaptable platform for various types of design projects
- Allows for easy sharing and feedback among team members
- It has an intuitive and user-friendly interface
- Limited design capabilities compared to specialized design software
- May not be suitable for complex or advanced design projects
- Can be difficult to manage and organize large projects
- Limited integration with other design tools and software
Best for smaller remote teams
This online collaboration tool can be especially beneficial for teams that work remotely or across different locations as it facilitates real-time collaboration and sharing of ideas.
It may also be suitable for smaller teams or individuals who need a flexible and cost-effective design solution, without the need for advanced or specialized design features.
However, it may not be the best choice for larger teams or complex design projects that require more robust and comprehensive design tools.
In the past few years, we’re seeing an incredible rise in remote and hybrid companies. And such companies need strong support in video conferencing tools to keep their teammates connected.
Here are some of the best online collaboration tools for video calls.
Zoom is a video conferencing and communication software that allows users to connect remotely for meetings, webinars, and virtual events. Users can use it by downloading the software onto their computer or mobile device, and start hosting or joining video conferences.
The tool offers a range of features, including screen sharing, recording, virtual backgrounds, and chat, to enhance communication and collaboration between participants.
- Easy to use and set up, with a user-friendly interface and intuitive controls.
- Supports high-quality video and audio, with options for HD video and clear audio even in low-bandwidth environments.
- Offers a range of collaboration and communication features, including screen sharing, virtual backgrounds, and chat.
- Allows for large groups to participate in a video call, with up to 1,000 participants in a single meeting and up to 49 video feeds on one screen.
- Provides flexibility for users to connect from anywhere, with options to join meetings from a computer, mobile device, or phone line.
- Security concerns, including the potential for unauthorized access to meetings (so-called “Zoom-bombing”).
- Limited control over participant behavior, including the ability to mute or remove disruptive participants.
- Bandwidth limitations that can affect the quality of the video and audio, especially in low-bandwidth environments.
- The free version has time limits for group meetings, with a maximum of 40 minutes per session, which may not be sufficient for longer or more complex meetings.
Best for remote teams of all sizes
Zoom is particularly useful for remote teams and businesses with multiple locations that need to conduct virtual meetings, webinars, or training sessions.
Features like screen sharing, virtual backgrounds, and recording capabilities, make it a great choice for collaborative meetings, presentations, and educational sessions.
Its pricing options make it accessible for small businesses, while its scalability and security features make it a suitable solution for larger enterprises.
Whereby is a video conferencing tool that allows users to host online meetings, video conferences, and webinars. It’s a browser-based application and doesn’t require downloads or installations.
Whereby offers screen sharing, chat, and recording capabilities, which can be useful for collaboration and documentation. The tool is known for its user-friendly interface and reliable video quality, making it a popular choice for remote teams, freelancers, and small businesses.
- Easy to use and no software downloads required.
- Custom branding and meeting rooms available for paid plans.
- Up to 50 participants can join a call on the paid plans.
- Screen sharing and recording options available.
- Secure and encrypted communication for better privacy.
- Limited features compared to other video conferencing tools.
- The free version only allows for up to four participants in a call.
- No virtual backgrounds or other advanced video settings.
- No screen sharing for mobile users.
- Some users have reported occasional connectivity and stability issues.
Best for small remote teams with tighter budgets
This tool is best suited for small to medium-sized businesses, remote teams, freelancers, and individuals who need to conduct virtual meetings with their colleagues, clients, or customers.
It’s also great for companies that are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use video conferencing solution that can be used on multiple devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
19. Google Meet
Google Meet is a video conferencing platform developed by Google. It allows users to conduct virtual meetings with colleagues, clients, or customers from anywhere in the world using their computers or mobile devices.
The tool offers a range of features such as screen sharing, virtual backgrounds, and live captions to enhance the video conferencing experience.
- It can accommodate up to 250 participants in a single call.
- It uses encryption to protect user data and prevent unauthorized access.
- It’s user-friendly and can be easily integrated with other Google services.
- The tool can be integrated with Google Calendar, allowing users to schedule and join meetings seamlessly.
- Some of the more advanced features are only available with a paid subscription.
- The tool can be incompatible with all devices and web browsers.
- There are limited options for customizing the interface or settings to suit individual preferences.
Best for existing Google Suite users from all company sizes.
Google Meet is particularly well-suited for companies that already use other Google services such as Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite), Gmail, and Google Calendar.
This is because Google Meet can be easily integrated with these services, allowing users to schedule and join meetings seamlessly.
Documentation is one of the most important aspects of any business. But without efficient document tools and processes, it can turn into a real nightmare.
Here are some of the best online collaboration tools that will help you create seamless documentation processes.
Coda is a cloud-based document editor and productivity platform that allows users to create, organize, and automate a wide range of tasks in one place.
This versatile platform can be used by businesses of all sizes to streamline their documentation workflows and improve collaboration.
With its customizable tables, formatting options, and automation features, this is an excellent option for businesses looking to create professional-looking documents and increase productivity.
- This is a versatile platform that can be used for a wide range of tasks, from project management to documentation and more.
- It has robust collaboration features, allowing multiple users to edit and comment on documents in real-time.
- The tool allows users to customize their documents with tables, formulas, and automation features to streamline workflows.
- It offers advanced security features to ensure that documents and data are protected, including granular permission settings and two-factor authentication.
- It’s more complex compared to simpler document editing tools.
- The tool is more expensive compared to some other document editing tools, particularly for businesses with larger teams.
- Even though it offers many formatting options, some users may find it limiting compared to more traditional document editing tools.
Best for large teams looking for a customizable solution
Coda is best suited for businesses that prioritize customization, efficiency, and security. Its versatility can make it a great option for businesses that have complex workflows and need to automate tasks.
That’s why the tool is particularly useful for businesses with larger teams and complex workflows. Plus, it’s great for businesses that are willing to invest time and resources into learning and implementing a more complex document editing tool.
Notion is a cloud-based online collaboration tool that allows users to create, organize, and share various types of content, including notes, to-do lists, project management workflows, and databases. It provides users with a flexible and customizable workspace where they can create and manage information in one centralized location.
It’s a versatile platform that can be used by businesses of all sizes to streamline their documentation workflows and improve collaboration.
- It allows users to customize their workspace with pages, sub-pages, and databases, making it highly adaptable to their documentation needs.
- The tool can be used for a variety of documentation types, from meeting notes to project timelines, and offers a range of formatting options.
- It has robust collaboration features, allowing multiple users to edit and comment on documents in real time.
- It offers a range of automation features to streamline workflows and save time, including custom templates, formulas, and workflows.
- Compared to other documentation tools, it’s expensive
- It has limited integration options with other software tools
- Its mobile app has limited functionality compared to the desktop version, which can make it challenging to work on-the-go.
Best for startups that rely heavily on customization
Notion is particularly beneficial for startups, creative agencies, and remote teams, who often require a versatile and scalable tool for managing their documentation needs.
The tool is best for businesses that value flexibility, customization, and collaboration in their documentation workflows and are willing to invest in a more complex and sophisticated platform.
Whether you’re working in a remote team or on-site, today’s businesses rely heavily on file sharing. And without an adequate file sharing platform, your team can waste a lot of time and resources to get the files they need.
Here are the best online collaboration tools suitable for various time sizes and budgets.
22. Google Drive
Google Drive is a cloud-based storage platform that allows users to store, share, and collaborate on files and documents online. It allows you to easily share files with colleagues or clients, collaborate on projects in real-time, and access files from any device with an internet connection.
- It offers robust collaboration features, allowing multiple users to edit and comment on documents in real time.
- It provides strong security measures to protect files from unauthorized access, including two-factor authentication and encryption.
- The tool offers generous storage space, with 15 GB of free storage and the option to purchase additional storage as needed.
- It integrates seamlessly with other Google tools, making it easy to share and collaborate on documents across different platforms.
- It has limitations on file sizes, which can make it difficult to share large files or media files such as videos.
- Its version control system is not as advanced as other file sharing tools, making it more challenging to track changes and collaborate on specific versions of a document.
- It offers limited customization options for the sharing process, which can be frustrating for users who need more control over the sharing process.
Best for remote teams looking for cost-effective file sharing options
Google Drive can be a great option for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large corporations. It is particularly useful for companies that have employees working remotely or across multiple locations, as it provides a centralized platform for file sharing and collaboration.
It’s a cost-effective solution for businesses that need to store and share large amounts of data, as it offers generous storage options and competitive pricing for additional storage.
Mega is a cloud-based file hosting and sharing platform that offers end-to-end encryption to ensure the security and privacy of users’ files. The tool also allows users to set permissions and access levels for shared files, giving users greater control over who can access and edit their files.
In addition to file sharing, it offers additional features such as file storage, file syncing, and a chat platform, making it a versatile tool for individuals and businesses.
- It offers end-to-end encryption for all files uploaded to its platform, which ensures the security and privacy of users’ data.
- The tool offers generous storage options for free and paid accounts, allowing users to store and share large amounts of data.
- It allows users to set permissions and access levels for shared files, giving them greater control over who can access and edit their files.
- In addition to file sharing, the tool offers additional features such as file storage, file syncing, and a chat platform, making it a versatile tool for individuals and businesses.
- It has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for users to upload, share, and manage their files, even for those who are not tech-savvy.
- It has limited integrations with other tools and platforms, which can make it less convenient to use for some users.
- Its encryption and security measures can sometimes result in slower download speeds compared to other file sharing platforms.
- The tool doesn’t offer the option to password-protect shared links, which can pose a security risk if the link falls into the wrong hands.
- It doesn’t offer version control, which can make it difficult to keep track of changes made to shared files over time.
Best for freelancers and smaller teams that need to share sensitive information
Mega can be a good option for individuals, freelancers, and small businesses, who need a secure and user-friendly platform for file sharing and storage.
Because of its end-to-end encryption, it’s particularly useful for users who need to share sensitive or confidential information.
Its limited integrations and customer support may make it less suitable for larger organizations or teams who need more comprehensive solutions.
Dropbox is a cloud-based file sharing and storage service that allows users to upload and share files with others, as well as sync files across multiple devices. Users can access their files from anywhere with an internet connection, and can collaborate with others in real time.
Dropbox also offers various integrations with other tools and platforms, making it a versatile tool for individuals and businesses.
- The tool has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to set up and use
- It allows real-time collaboration on shared files
- Users can share files via links, email invitations, and shared folders
- It automatically syncs files across multiple devices
- It offers integrations with various other tools and platforms, such as Microsoft Office and Slack
- Its free plan offers limited storage space, which can be a constraint for users who need to store large files
- Its paid plans can be expensive, especially for larger teams or organizations with many users
- The tools have faced security concerns in the past, which can make some users wary of storing sensitive data on the platform
- Managing permissions for shared files and folders can be confusing, especially for new users, which can lead to accidental sharing of sensitive information.
Best for companies of all sizes due to its flexible pricing plans
Dropbox is best for companies that require a cloud-based solution for file sharing and collaboration. It is ideal for teams that need to work on projects together in real time, as it offers features such as real-time syncing and versatile sharing options.
It can benefit companies of all sizes, from small startups to large corporations, as it offers flexible pricing plans that can scale with the company’s needs. Additionally, Dropbox can be used by individuals and freelancers who require a secure and reliable platform to store and share their files.
Box is a cloud-based file storage and sharing platform that allows users to securely store and share files with others. Users can create folders, upload files, set access permissions, and collaborate with others in real time.
Box also offers features such as version history, file comments, and task assignments to help streamline collaboration.
- Secure file sharing with customizable access permissions.
- Real-time collaboration and version control for streamlined workflows.
- Integration with popular apps such as Microsoft Office and Google Docs.
- Robust admin controls and reporting for managing users and content.
- Limited storage capacity which is forcing users to upgrade frequently.
- Difficulties in collaboration due to versioning conflicts and lack of real-time co-authoring.
- Files are stored on external servers which causes security risks from unauthorized access or data breaches.
- Lack of customization options for branding or user interface, limiting personalization for businesses.
Best for highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance
Box is best suited for companies that require a secure and centralized platform for sharing and collaborating on files, particularly those in highly regulated industries such as healthcare and finance.
The tool is also well-suited for businesses with remote or distributed teams, as it provides a cloud-based solution for accessing and sharing files from anywhere.
Though essential in most companies, note taking is one of the things that most of us would like to automate as much as possible. With the right tool, you can both automate and optimize note taking so it takes as little time as possible.
Check out the best online collaboration tools for various note-taking needs.
Evernote is a popular note-taking application that allows users to create and organize notes, ideas, and lists in one central location. Its note sharing abilities enable users to collaborate with others by sharing individual notes, notebooks, or entire stacks. Shared notes can be edited in real-time, allowing for seamless collaboration and feedback.
Additionally, its shared notebooks feature enables teams to work together on larger projects, such as brainstorming sessions or research documents.
- Versatile and customizable note-taking options, such as text, images, audio, and handwriting recognition.
- Easy to organize and search notes with tags, notebooks, and stacks.
- Cross-platform accessibility with sync capabilities across devices and operating systems.
- Advanced features such as web clipping, document scanning, and task management for increased productivity.
- Collaboration features, including shared notes and notebooks, and real-time editing for team collaboration.
- Limited storage capacity for free accounts, with premium accounts requiring a subscription fee.
- Limited integration with other applications and services compared to other note-taking apps.
Best for remote companies and knowledge workers.
Evernote is particularly useful for remote or distributed teams, as it provides a cloud-based solution for accessing and sharing notes from anywhere with internet connectivity.
It’s also well-suited for knowledge workers, such as researchers, writers, and consultants, who need to organize and manage large amounts of information.
Can collaboration tools integrate with other software?
The majority of collaboration tools can integrate with other software through various methods. Tools can integrate through application programming interfaces (APIs), plugins, or add-ons.
This allows collaboration tools to work seamlessly with other software and streamline workflows which saves time and increases productivity.
For example, a project management tool can integrate with a communication tool like Slack or Microsoft Teams and allow team members to receive updates and notifications directly in their messaging app.
How do collaboration tools improve productivity?
Here are five ways in which collaboration tools improve productivity:
- Improved communication – they provide real-time communication between team members regardless of their location.
- Streamlining workflows – they allow teams to work on the same project simultaneously, eliminating the need for back-and-forth emails or phone calls.
- Easy access to information – they provide a centralized location for project-related information, such as files, documents, and feedback.
- Task management – they often include task management features, such as assigning tasks, setting deadlines, and tracking progress.
- Remote work – they are especially useful for remote teams, allowing them to work together seamlessly and stay connected.
Are there any security concerns with using collaboration tools?
Since most collaboration tools store information in the cloud, this makes them vulnerable to cyber attacks or data breaches. Plus, the fact that most of them can be integrated with other tools increases their vulnerability to security threats.
Just like any other type of software, online collaboration tools are also susceptible to phishing attacks. These attacks are characterized by luring users into downloading malware software on their computer.
To avoid these security threats, it’s important to choose collaboration tools that have strong security features, like encryption, access controls, and multi-factor authentication.
How do you train your team to use online collaboration tools effectively?
Here are six tips for training your team to use online collaboration tools more effectively:
- Choose the right tool: Before you start training your team, make sure you choose the right online collaboration tool for your needs. Consider factors such as ease of use, functionality, security, and cost.
- Develop a training plan: Create a training plan that outlines the features and functionality of the collaboration tool and how it can be used to improve productivity and communication.
- Focus on key features: Highlight the key features that are most relevant to your team’s needs. This will help to avoid overwhelming them with too much information and make sure they are able to use it effectively.
- Provide ongoing support: Collaboration tools can be complex, so it’s important to provide ongoing support to your team. You can do this by setting up a help desk or providing access to online training materials.
- Encourage collaboration: Encourage your team to collaborate using the tool by sharing best practices, facilitating discussions, and providing feedback on how they can use the tool more effectively.
- Monitor adoption: Monitor adoption of the tool and provide feedback to your team to help them improve their usage. Consider setting up performance metrics to measure the success of the tool and make adjustments as necessary.
How do you measure the success of using collaboration tools?
Depending on the needs of your company, there are numerous ways you can measure the success of your online collaboration tools.
Here are just a few factors to take into account when measuring the success of your collaboration tools:
- User adoption
- Increased productivity
- Improved communication
- Cost savings
- User feedback
How can collaboration tools help with project management?
Collaboration tools can be very helpful in project management by enabling team members to work together more effectively and efficiently. In fact, many collaboration tools are a part of project management tools.
Since more and more companies engage in remote collaboration (both internally or for external clients), online collaboration tools help many businesses keep their projects organized regardless of where everyone is located.